In the space of just 12 months, Naomi Osaka has gone from a quirky player with a cult following among a niche of hardened WTA fans to a global superstar armed with two major titles and the world No.1 ranking.
It’s a simply remarkable transformation.
To everyone, that is, except the Japanese 21-year-old herself.
“I mean, to me, it doesn't (feel like it’s happened quickly),” she said after beating Petra Kvitova in three compelling sets to win her first Australian Open title.
“I guess looking from the outside, from your guys' view, it does. But I'm aware of all the work that I put in. I know all the sacrifices that every player does to stay at this level. I mean, in my opinion, it didn't feel fast. It felt kind of long.”